What's the new ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ theme tune and who wrote the score for the Nintendo game?

12 June 2019, 15:03 | Updated: 12 June 2019, 15:04

By Helena Asprou

It’s one of the most popular video games of all time – and now fearless hero Link is about to embark on his next quest with a dramatic new soundtrack to match.

Nintendo producer Eiji Aonuma has just confirmed that the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now in the making – and music fans can look forward to a soundtrack that’s as enchanting as the last.

In the first look trailer, which Nintendo played during a recent presentation at the E3 gaming show in Los Angeles, eerie vocals introduce legendary hero, Link, as he is seen to be approaching his next adventure.

There’s no official theme just yet, but a thundering bass drum, glissando strings, broken piano chords and great crescendos from the brass lead us towards the inevitable action on-screen and give us a hint of what’s to come.

The sound of a raised heartbeat closes the clip, adding to the excitement for the game’s release – and that’s no surprise, given that Zelda has established itself as a best-seller for the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo also announced the news on Twitter:

Launched in 2017, Breath of the Wild became an instant hit with gamers and has now sold over 14 million copies worldwide, as well as winning several awards.

In the game, players control Link, who has just awoken from a hundred-year slumber, and attempt to defeat antagonist Calamity Ganon, and protect the kingdom of Hyrule.

Who wrote the score for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?

The original soundtrack for Breath of the Wild is truly epic, and it’s the result of a collaboration between Japanese composers Manaka Kataoka, Yasuaki Iwata and Hajime Wakai.

Its mesmeric music was mostly written and performed on a piano, using ambient sounds rather than the melodic and upbeat music in previous Zelda games (courtesy of iconic composer Koji Kondo) – and Wakai believes this adds authenticity to the various environments in the game.

At Nintendo, Hajime Wakai is well known for his work on the Star Fox and Pikmin franchises, and for being sound director for Zelda. He has worked for Nintendo since the 64 era.

Manaka Kataoka has written music for Nintendo since 2006, initially working for the company's Entertainment & Development Division, and her portfolio includes tracks for the Animal Crossing franchise.

Meanwhile, Yasuaki Iwata has composed for popular games including Mario Kart 8 and ARMS.

We're waiting to hear more on the music for the forthcoming sequel, but if the previous soundtrack is anything to go by, we're anticipating big things.

Koji Kondi, Zelda composer
Koji Kondi, Zelda composer. Picture: Getty

What's next for Nintendo?

As well as a remaster of Link’s Awakening, which is coming soon to Nintendo Switch, there are rumours that Skyward Sword may also be making a return to the gaming scene.

In Japan, an orchestra recently went on tour with a new concert series featuring some of the best-loved tracks from Zelda, and during one of the shows games producer Eiji Aonuma said, “We know what you are thinking, Skyward Sword on Switch, right?”

Nintendo has yet to share a release date for the Breath of Wind sequel, but one thing is for certain – we can’t wait to hear the new soundtrack.

Have a listen to the original Zelda theme on Spotify below: